For seller and buyers, the last step in the transaction process is the closing.
In Virginia, a "deed of trust" instrument is established, in lieu of a mortgage. This arrangement allows title to be received by the buyer, but in turn, the buyer conveys title to a third party trustee until the loan is paid in full.
When you sell the home or pay off the mortgage, be sure to obtain a release of deed when the loan has been fully satisfied.
Mortgage loan documents must be calculated using the actual date of closing so it is typical for some paper work to come together at the last minute. A home buyer has the right to choose the closing attorney or settlement agent.
When you select your attorney or settlement agent, consider the reputation of the person or firm and their experience in real estate and mortgage closings. To serve as a closing agent, the individual must be registered with the Virginia State Bar as a settlement agent. I have provided a list of of qualified attorneys or settlement agents.
Fees vary, so inquire about all of the fees up front. Sometimes a low closing fee is offered, but may be offset by charging of unnecessary fees or higher than normal fees for routine processing. Be aware of what you are paying for.
A closing agent ensures that all aspects of the transaction are finalized; verified that the property is in the promised condition by inspecting the title evidence, the sellers deed, documentation about the sellers liens, and prepares the paperwork for the closing itself.
Closing customarily takes place at the office of the buyer's agent or settlement agent. Typically, only the buyers and the attorney or settlement agent will attend the closing. If you would like I will also attend the closing. The process takes about a hour to complete.
After closing, the attorney or settlement agent will record the deed at the clerks office for the municipality where the home is located. After recording final papers will be mailed to all parties, usually within a month.
RESPA (the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act) requires that a final closing statement be provided to both the seller and the buyer, giving the final accounting and details what each can expect to pay or receive.